Tuesday, October 21, 2014

City of London Police carry out controlled explosion, on unattended Taxi left opposite Gherkin... By Jim Thomas.

The City of London police panicked when a silver TX2 was left on a Taxi Rank, outside the Gherkin building in St Mary's Axe. This seems to be the City of London Police way of informing Taxi drivers not to leave your cabs parked on City ranks overnight.

Taxi drivers have been leaving their cabs on Taxi ranks in the City for many years as drivers decide to take the train home to deepest Essex rather than driving through the rush hour traffic. 

But now, with the security status raised to a substantial threat of a terrorist attack, the City police will be keeping a more vigilance eye on vehicles they find abandoned on Taxi ranks. Instead of putting out a statement to the Taxi trade, informing drivers not to leave vehicles unattended on City ranks, they decided to blow one up, hoping the message will get to drivers quicker.

City of London Police said officers were called at about 7.45am on Monday morning after the vehicle was reported left there overnight. 

Police threw a cordon around the area amid the alert, with several key roads closed during the rush-hour, a controlled explosion was carried out on the Hackney carriage, which was parked near the skyscraper.

Witnesses reported seeing a small controlled explosion on the silver taxi in St Mary Axe. Pictures showed its rear window smashed and the back of the vehicle, which was covered in police tape, damaged.

The window of a nearby Slug and Lettuce pub also appeared to have been smashed. The taxi was removed by officers and the cordon lifted after around an hour.

A spokesman said: "We were called to a report of a suspect vehicle. Officers were sent to the scene and the vehicle has now been removed. It is no longer being treated as suspicious."

Perhaps the CoL police could now concentrate on the hundreds of cars that are left parked outside clubs, hotels, bars and restaurants touting every night. 
Or like RD2, have all minicabs got special dispensation from the police as well as TfL? 

      Minicabs parked outside old Billingsgate, apparently with the blessing if TfL.

If a terrorist wanted to leave a car bomb outside a building in the City or anywhere in Central London, they have only got to put a minicab roundel in the window and they can park it wherever they like. 

Editorial Comment From Semtex
I myself am only too aware of the dangers of the imminent threat of terrorism. I realise that with the National threat being escalated recently, Police Forces across our capital, have to justifiably be vigilant.

I would expect then, that the decision by the Area Commander in the City Force to blow the cab up, was made after intelligence suggested that the parked up TX2 had indeed appeared suspicious.

However, if the controlled explosion had been deployed as a result of the cab being left there overnight, then that is a different issue.

The cab was Licensed, plated and still bearing the driver's personal identifier numbers.

It would take a Police Commander minutes to ascertain who the driver was, and the origins for the authenticity of the vehicle.

I cannot for the life of me believe that the City Police would display a show of strength by going for the easy nick London Cab trap again? 
Surely not? 

As you say Jim, with mini cabs across London parking and waiting illegally every night of the week with apparently no official challenge, it makes you wonder where the priorities are.

Bearing in mind that mini cabs are driven predominantly by foreign nationals, most Police Forces simply cannot afford a counter claim from Human Rights Representation Barristers. They are terrified of them. 

To display their strength then, a hit on the easy nick London Taxi Trade manages to complete the target led paperwork back at the station, perfectly !

Statistics are met, time scales adhered to and a visible show of zero tolerance on clear view for all to see. Fundamentally though, and as we all know, it ain't any of us who are likely to blow London up, is it?

To anybody outside our ranks, the act of a controlled explosion on the TX2 opposite the Gherkin would portray a zero tolerance, razor sharp and steadfast approach to National Security by our City Police Force.

As I say,I assume that was indeed no doubt the case. There is no way the City Police would blow a cab up for parking on a rank on a Sunday night,unless they had some real concerns would they ? 
Would they?

8829 Semtex. 


Anonymous said...

Got a 14/15 year old You wanna get rid off?
Put a couple of cans of petrol in the boot, with lids off and park it opposite the gherkin tonight.

Bang...who do you get compensated by!

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous, all London taxi drivers are CRB cleared, including those with 'he's an ok Johnny' letter from third world embassies and consulates. Why on earth would London cabbies pose a threat???

Anonymous said...

Might stop selfish drivers parking on working ranks

Nothing worse

Anonymous said...

Apparently there is a cab in Woodfield Road that's been unattended for 25 years.

Anonymous said...

They are fast tracking idiots into the top ranks without any police experience . Like the taxi trade they are being run by idiots ..

Anonymous said...

This Semtex bloke seems to know what he's talking about. Is he ex old bill?

Anonymous said...

Most of the ranks where cab commuters park are not working ranks, and the drivers park on them when they aren't operational:

Finsbury Pavement.
Finsbury Sq.
Royal Mint Court.
Ropemaker St.
Appold St.

Are just a few that come to mind.

Editorial said...

Apparently all that happened was they managed to blow the back window out and smashed the pub window.
The boot lock stayed intact .

The driver arrived at the scene shortly after the explosion.
Driver said he left the Taxi there regularly which should all be on CCTV.

He now wants to know why no attempt was made to check his identity by the police who he compared with the Keystone cops.

The driver feels it was a conspiracy from a certain minicab firm that illegally operate from the Taxi rank in the evening servicing the pub.

Anonymous said...

Something isn't quite right about this. The update to this dramatic scenario is even more concerning.
I am still dismayed as to why no apparent contact was made to speak to the driver or make any contact. The Police did not just have a record of the registered keeper of the taxi but a record of the TFL registered owner via the plate and a record of the registered driver, via the identifiers.
The TX2 was not just displaying a number plate, but a TFL Licence plate AND the personal identifying badge number of the driver himself !
A Police Officer with concern therefore will hardly be nominated for the Columbo Crimebuster Of The Year Award to work out who owns the vehicle, who drives it and where he lives !
The fact that the Licensed Taxi was subject to a controlled explosion indicates TERRORISM ACTIVITY CONCERNS ONLY. In any other concern, the cab would have been towed away at worst.
Police officers don't run around with explosives in their tunic pockets ! A specialist team of officers would have had to have been deployed to deal with this issue, and that drastic decision which unfolded would warrant TERRORIST ACTIVITY ONLY. Whatsmore, drastic action by our Police Service of this nature isn't taken lightly.
Technically, it is an offence to leave a cab on a rank overnight, whether licensed or not. However by the same token, you wouldn't expect to get 20 years in the nick for doing 31mph in a 30mph zone, would you?
Something isn't quite right about this, I can promise you.
Obviously, our Police Service can't be seen running around blowing cabs up without due cause, and I can't believe that they would do either.
There is most definitely more in this case than meets the eye, and I look forward to more details evolving. Either way, I shall be watching this rank with a video during the night from now on, just to see what the crack is.

8829 Semtex.

Dinah Might said...

Surely every vehicle parked is a security risk,? That the price we have to pay for living in a democracy.

This is as we suspect more to do with envy mixed up with a good dose of political correctness.

Apparently if you put the vehicle on a pay and display it's not a risk, FOLLOW the money.

If we can work that out, surely a terrorist can.

Anonymous said...

Probably one of the fast tracked officers was working as a mini cab driver when he first came here , and was doing his old boss a favour .